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South America Capitals

Argentina: Buenos Aires

The capital of Argentina is called Buenos Aires. This is Spanish and means "good air" . When it was founded, the city was located where there was no more malaria , a disease that at that time was attributed to bad air. According to another explanation, the name refers to the favorable winds that blow here.

Buenos Aires is located on the Río de la Plata, a wide estuary on the Atlantic . Buenos Aires is one of the most modern cities in South America. There are many high-rise buildings and a subway. The city is also known as the Paris of South America. She looks very European. Buenos Aires is also the world capital of tango. Tango stars perform daily and show the dance in bars, but also on the street.

Three million people live here. Buenos Aires is therefore also the largest city in the country. If you include the region around the city, 14 million people live here. Some don't have it so well because they have to live in slums on the outskirts of the city.

Bolivia: Sucre / La Paz

The capital of Bolivia is called Sucre. However, the largest city in the country is Santa Cruz with 1.4 million inhabitants. And La Paz is better known than either of them, but it is not the capital - but at least the seat of government.

Both cities, Sucre and La Paz, are on the Altiplano, but Sucre is far more south than La Paz. In 1899, Sucre was given up as the seat of government because the region was in economic decline. Since then, Bolivia has been ruled from La Paz. Sucre has about 300,000 inhabitants. About 800,000 people live in La Paz. The town of El Alto was built on the neighboring western plateau, where another 850,000 people live.

La Paz is the highest seat of government in the world at an altitude of 3200 to 4100 meters. The higher people live on the slopes, the poorer they are usually. For tourists, altitude is often a problem: they quickly become breathless and can even get altitude sickness.

Brazil: Brasília

The capital of Brazil is Brasília. It is inland. Brasília was not always the capital. Before that, Salvador de Bahía (1549-1763) and Rio de Janeiro (1763-1960) had this function. Brasília was built specifically to become the capital.

The planned city has the shape of a cross. Because one axis was bent because of the landscape, it now looks more like the shape of an airplane from the air. Only 205,000 people live in the city itself, but the region around the city has now developed significantly - around three million people live here. The center of Brasília has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. The city emerged from nowhere and is considered a milestone in urban development.

The largest and probably better known cities in Brazil, on the other hand, are São Paulo and Río de Janeiro. Both are on the coast. With a population of almost twelve million, São Paulo is one of the largest cities in the world. As many as 20 million people live in the region. It is the most populous city in the southern hemisphere. 6.4 million people live in Rio.

Chile: Santiago de Chile

The capital of Chile is Santiago de Chile. It is located in the middle of the country between the Andes and the mountains of the coast and thus in a valley. More than 6 million people live here, that's a third of all Chile's inhabitants! With lots of factories and traffic, the air is pretty bad. The location in the valley means that the air is not exchanged. So there is often smog .

Colombia: Bogotá

The capital of Colombia is Bogotá. 8 million people live in the city. If you add up the population of the region, you get 13 million people. Many people live in slums, especially on the outskirts. The residential areas of the wealthier are in the north of the city. Bogotá is a center of drug trafficking and crime. Bogotá is located in the mountains at an altitude of 2640 meters. As a result, the average annual temperatures of 13 degrees are not too high and the climate is moderate.

Ecuador: Quito

The capital of Ecuador is Quito. This is called "Ki-to". Quito is located in the Andes at an altitude of 2850 meters. This makes Quito the highest capital in the world. Quito is about 20 kilometers south of the equator . Two million people live in Quito. If you add the entire region, there are 2.5 million. However, the largest city in the country is not Quito, but Guayaquil. However, the gap between the two cities has been shrinking for several years.

Guyana: Georgetown

The capital of Guyana is Georgetown. 240,000 people live here, i.e. more than a quarter of the country's population! Georgetown is on the Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Demerara River. Because the city lies in very flat land, it is protected by dikes. It was named in 1812 after the British King George III.

Paraguay: Asunción

The capital of Paraguay is Asunción. The name translated means "ascent" or "ascension". This refers to the Assumption of Mary, a major holiday of the Catholic Church on August 15th. The full name of the city of Asunción is: La Muy Noble y Leal Ciudad de Nuestra Señora Santa Maria de la Asunción . This can be translated as: The venerable city of our Holy Mary.

Asunción is located on the banks of the Paraguay River. In 1537, Asunción was founded as a fortress by the Spaniard Juan de Salazar y Espinosa. Today the city is the country's cultural and economic center. 750,000 people live in Asunción, which makes it the largest city in the country. If you add the residents all around (metropolitan area), you get 2.6 million people. That corresponds to a third of the country's population.

Peru: Lima

The capital of Peru is Lima. It is by far the largest city in the country. 8.8 million people live here. In the next largest city, Arequipa, there are "only" 1 million inhabitants. Lima's old town with many beautiful buildings from the colonial era belongs to the world heritage of UNESCO . Because so many people are moving to Lima and there is no living space, large slums have emerged on the outskirts. They are called here pueblos jóvenes , which means "young villages".

Suriname: Paramaribo

The capital of Suriname is Paramaribo. Of the 544,000 inhabitants of Suriname, 240,000 live in Paramaribo - almost half of all inhabitants! Paramaribo is on the Atlantic Ocean and at the mouth of the Suriname River on its left bank. The city is also called Par'bo for short. In Paramaribo there is a mosque, a synagogue and a Hindu temple. The Catholic Church of St. Peter and Paul is one of the largest wooden churches in the world.

Uruguay: Montevideo

The capital of Uruguay is Montevideo. 1.3 million people live in the city on the Río de la Plata. If you take the surrounding area into account, there are almost 2 million and thus almost half of the population. The name comes from the small mountain that lies in the city: mountain means monte in Spanish . Montevideo is a city where, according to surveys across Latin America, you can live particularly well.

Venezuela: Caracas

The capital of Venezuela is Caracas. Caracas is located around 15 kilometers from the Caribbean Sea in the north of the country through the more than 2000 meter high Àvila mountain range. Caracas is located in a valley at around 900 meters above sea level. With more than three million inhabitants, Caracas is the largest city in the country. If you add the region around Caracas, more than five million people live here.

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